University Life

/ 3 years ago /

 Article by Abigail Hanley

Debut’s ultimate focus playlist – the best music to listen to while studying

Finding the motivation to do work is often hard, particularly if it is that essay you just do not want to start, or revising for an exam you have in a few weeks. The best way to focus is to put your headphones in and listen to Debut’s carefully selected focus playlist with tunes perfect for concentration.

There are two different types of people in the study and revision world and they are those who can work while listening to music with lyrics and those who cannot. Let’s start with music with lyrics, for those who like to sing along as they type away.


Focus playlist pt. 1 – with lyrics

Billie Marten – Milk and Honey

Billie Marten is mellow, acoustic heaven for your ears. Her entire album, Writing of Blues and Yellows, is soulful and sweet. It almost feels as though there are no lyrics as her voice melts between the soft guitar chords. Milk and Honey is a beautiful track which will keep you calm, collected and concentrating.


Cigarettes After Sex – Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby

This tune will take you into the deep recesses of your mind, with the lead singer’s hazy, settling voice and accompanying smooth percussion.  If you need something faster, why not increase the speed to 1.5x and enjoy your increase in productivity. Although your deadlines might be stressing you out, in the wise words of Cigarettes After Sex; ‘nothing’s gonna hurt you baby’.


Ben Howard – Small Things

Ben Howard will bring you straight out of your writers block and into a focused stream of thought. Small Things has fantastic guitar riffs and a steady beat to keep your motivation at a high. Ben’s mellow composition builds up to the chorus without you even realising the power of the piece paired with the brilliant lyrics.


Billie Eilish – Ocean Eyes

Billie is by far the youngest artist on this playlist, at only fifteen-years-old her dreamy, melodic voice is layered in this song to create an unreal tune to listen to while studying. So stop letting Netflix continue onto the next episode, buckle down and let Billie motivate your work.


Alt-J – Every Other Freckle

Alt-J’s strange, metaphorical lyrics will have your brain wide awake while you listen to Every Other Freckle. The addictive percussion will have you hooked to your laptop screen. For a quick revision break why not watch the two different versions of their music video, one called revolving around boys and the other girls. But make sure you get back to work straight after!


Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m a Man

Be prepared for funky, psychedelic music with Tame Impala. This song will make you instantly relaxed, putting you in the zone to wack out that word count in no time. If you like this, make sure you check out the whole album ‘Currents’ for an enchanting musical study buddy.


CamelPhat, Elderbrook – Cola

It is time for something a little different. House music is motivational and upbeat and if you are in the zone this is a great song to pop on. The track is nearly seven whole minutes in duration so you will not have to worry about your flow being interrupted.


Focus playlist pt. 2 – Instrumental music


focus playlist

There are plenty of people who cannot listen to songs with lyrics while they are working, so we have made sure not to leave you out. Here are a selection of the best tracks keep your mind focused and motivated.


Tycho – A Walk

Tycho is the epitome of chilled out electronica. A Walk has a good bass line, upbeat tempo – everything you need for a productive study sesh.


Ludvico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche

If you have not listened to Ludvico Einaudi before – where have you been? His compositions are stunning, he manages to take you on a journey which will guide you through your essay with ease.


Hans Zimmer – Day One

Hans Zimmer is another brilliant composer. You may have heard this piece as part of the Interstellar soundtrack. It is will make you feel poised and in control of the work you have to complete.


Rachel’s – Music for Egon Schiele

Rachel’s is a lesser known artist but you will no doubt be left feeling serene and completely chilled after listening to this piece. The piano melody accompanied by string instruments is exactly what you did not realise you needed to hear.


Core – A Spark, A Beginning

So you may have realised by now that the theme is relaxation with a steady beat to keep you awake without the need for that extra cup of coffee. A Spark, a Beginning is the perfect start to your day in the library.


Kenny Garrett – Before It’s Time To Say Goodbye

It is time for some soulful jazz, the perfect tune to make you feel sophisticated and classy even if you are sat at your desk in your jogging bottoms and a hoodie.


Little People – Moon

Moon is a piano track with a strong, steady beat. It is an instrumental classic to aid your deadline stress and pull you through.


The perfect music playlist for working is often a work in progress, just like that essay you need to finish by next week. Hopefully these tracks are a start in the right direction to kick your brain into gear and keep the focus on your writing rather than that new series everyone is watching.


More Debut playlists:

The ultimate pre-drinks playlist

Debut’s Valentines playlist

Debut’s Anti-Valentines playlist

The feel-good playlist & the science of happy listening.


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